Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Cockmarsh Saga

Dear Sir/Madam.

In conversation with the National Trust recently, a boater friend of ours was told that the Cockmarsh meadow moorings are free for a period of 24 hours. And then a £10 charge is levied. Fair enough. But, this is not what the current signage appears to indicate, and I would be grateful if they could be amended with the correct and factual information. (Please see my attached photograph).

We were told by a man from across the river (who tried to collect £30 from my friend, despite there being no signs at all), that the mooring fee is more expensive than Henley, to "discourage" (his actual word) boaters from staying there. Surely, as Cockmarsh is an SSSI, and also an area of outstanding natural beauty, it should be being enjoyed by everybody? And not just the wealthy few, who are fortunate enough to have bought themselves a house directly across the river from it.

Sadly, I have heard all sorts of waffle and justification for their new signs appearing. None of which is, to my knowledge, true. I do acknowledge that there was a problem with abandoned boats underneath the Bourne End railway bridge. But, that land belongs to Network rail, and not to the National Trust. In the four years I have been a resident, I have not seen one overstaying boat on those meadow moorings. Or any litter left behind by boaters. Despite protestations to the contrary.

With their elitist and snobbish attitude, I feel the "Ranger Team" are doing the National Trust a grave dis-service. And I would also be much obliged if you could have a word with them. And maybe inform them that people who live on boats are not at all "Dangerous" or "Nasty" (again, actual words).

Thankyou for your time and consideration.
Ken Downie


  1. Great letter Ken. Please keep us up to date on the response (if any) from the NT. We are so glad your problem is remedied and the dog as least is staying cool!!! I have officially melted now and I am looking for the off button on the sun.

  2. Hi Jaq. even with the benefit of shorepower and an electric fan, we still burnt up. phew. it's the hottest i've ever experienced on the boat, and not all comfortable. Still, we shouldn't moan.. :)

    I'm not the complaining or letter writing sort, normally. But the number of free overnight moorings are gradually being reduced. Marlow to Henley is 99% stitched up now. And it would be a shame if that happened downstream too.

    regards to you and Les.